Teresa of Avila: The Book of My Life

Overview

Teresa of Ávila (1515–1582) is one of the most beloved of the Catholic saints. In 1562, during the era of the Spanish Inquisition, Teresa sat down to write an account of the mystical experiences for which she had become famous. The result was this book, one of the great classics of spiritual autobiography. With this fresh translation of The Book of My Life, Mirabai Starr brings the inimitable Spanish mystic to life for a new generation, with contemporary English that mirrors Teresa's own earthy, vernacular ...
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Overview

Teresa of Ávila (1515–1582) is one of the most beloved of the Catholic saints. In 1562, during the era of the Spanish Inquisition, Teresa sat down to write an account of the mystical experiences for which she had become famous. The result was this book, one of the great classics of spiritual autobiography. With this fresh translation of The Book of My Life, Mirabai Starr brings the inimitable Spanish mystic to life for a new generation, with contemporary English that mirrors Teresa's own earthy, vernacular Spanish, and that presents us with—four centuries after Teresa's death—someone we feel we know: a woman intoxicated with God yet filled with an overflowing love for the world.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A cause for celebration. Captures Teresa’s conversational enthusiasm most effectively.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“Crisp, contemporary language puts Teresa's famous passion for God in stark relief.”—Publishers Weekly

“Mirabai Starr’s translation is a work for our time. She has given Teresa a presence and a voice in a modern era.  Saint Teresa no doubt chose Mirabai, for her talent with language and Spanish translation is pure genius."—Caroline Myss, author of Entering the Castle and Anatomy of the Spirit

“Mirabai Starr’s translation makes totally accessible this most famous (and attractive) saint. The writing has such a delightful sparkle you can't help falling in love with Teresa.”—John Nichols, author of The Milagro Beanfield War

“Saint Teresa of Ávila has long deserved a far wider readership than existing translations have secured for her. She wrote, as she undoubtedly spoke, in an unapologetically vernacular Spanish—idiomatic, vivid, and informal—and Mirabai Starr’s rendering is all of that. The clarity and vitality of this new autobiography will bring a whole new generation of seekers into the blessed presence of ‘La Madre.’”—Carol Lee Flinders, author of Enduring Grace: Living Portraits of Seven Women Mystics and Enduring Lives: Portraits of Women and Faith in Action

“Saints’ lives are not always page-turners. But Mirabai Starr´s wonderfully fresh translation of the Vida of Teresa of Ávila captures the passionate spirituality, the talent for intimacy, the frankly fallible humanity that attracted her contemporaries to the woman Starr describes, in her introduction, as ‘not an obvious saint.’ Tessa Bielecki´s deeply-felt foreword is one inducement among many to take this welcome new translation to heart."—Cathleen Medwick, author of Teresa of Ávila : The Progress of a Soul

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590305737
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/8/2008
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 334,800
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Mirabai Starr is an adjunct professor of philosophy and religious studies at the University of New Mexico. She has studied a wide variety of religious traditions, including Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, and Christianity. She is also the translator of Teresa of Ávila’s Interior Castle and The Dark Night of the Soul by John of the Cross. She lives in Taos, New Mexico.

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Table of Contents


Foreword     ix
Acknowledgments     xv
Introduction     xix
A Note on the Translation     xxxi
Prologue     1
My Turbulent Youth
A Child's Passion for God     5
Falling Dangerously in Love     8
Our Lady of Grace     13
Taking the Habit     17
Illness and Patience     24
Saint Joseph's Cure     32
Prisoner of the Parlor     38
Twenty Years of Turbulence     51
Tears of Conversion     58
First Favors     63
The Four Waters
The Garden     71
Lifting the Bucket     80
Joyful Abandon     84
The Waterwheel     95
The Prayer of Quiet     102
The Stream of Holy Madness     111
The Fragrance of Virtue     116
The Prayer of Union     121
Divine Rain     128
Prayer of Pain     137
Advice to World Leaders     150
Sacred Humanity     156
Visions and Voices
A New Life     169
Resisting the Gifts     178
Spiritual Voices     182
A Living Book     194
The Perils of Temperance     198
His Hands     209
The Beautiful Wound     219
Fire and Water     227
Holy Water     238
A Glimpse of the Underworld     251
Divine Disobedience     260
Secret Preparations     270
Holy Poverty     281
Founding Saint Joseph's     289
Divine Friendship     303
Flight of the Spirit     310
Beyond Doubt     323
Soul on Fire     335
Epilogue     345
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